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Generic modular corridors


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Hi Mapcorians,

I'm struggling with the generic feeling of the modular pieces on levels. Right now here's some methods I found to solve the "boring modular corridors" feeling:

 

- get some non-modular parts of the pieces that will jump out the grid and change the proportions

- asymmetric corridors and detail composition

- tile breakers - textures, meshes...

 

Any other thoughts?

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The Skyrim team liked mixing modular kits for combined effects. For example, they had a set for "Draugr Ruins" and a set for "Ice Cave" - and mixing those together allowed you to create ruins that broke off into organic cave systems.

You can check out a lot of their modular kit tricks here. There's a ton of other neat tricks to avoid the rigid/90-degree feeling of modular kit building.

http://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/JoelBurgess/20130501/191514/

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Not sure if helpful, but here you go: 

 

http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2013/10/16/level-with-me-steve-gaynor/#more-172756

 

RY: I see that attitude still, in a lot of current Source, Unreal, and Unity work. But what makes me go, “oh you’ve been mapping for a long time,” is when I see a BSP box room, rotated by 45 degrees (or even 30 degrees) with custom modeled joins at the corners — “holy crap, 30 degrees!”

SG: There was this one trick I learned from some guys who worked on Fort Frolic from BioShock 1 (the mall level, with the crazy theater guy): that when they built it, they originally had these long hallways with doors leading to shops, but Ken Levine was pushing for them to change these 90 degree corners into 45 degree bends so that it’s not obvious that it’s just box to box to box. They came up with a really economical solution, without re-building everything at an angle: they just took the front wall and front door and sliced it at 45 degrees, so that you enter at an angle even though all the rooms and shops are still at 90 degrees, on the grid. It feels at an angle, but it’s not. Stuff like that comes from development experience of doing stuff sustainably, instead of doing things the hard way to make your life hell.

 

gaynor60.jpg

 

 

 

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Except for Skyrims great approach Legends of Grimrock could also be an idea, sure that environment is repetitive but it still doesn't feel boring even though you're walking on a grid, that's pretty impressive. I can't pinpoint exactly what you should look at but they are doing something right.
 

Edited by Sjonsson
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Not sure if helpful, but here you go: 

 

http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2013/10/16/level-with-me-steve-gaynor/#more-172756

 

RY: I see that attitude still, in a lot of current Source, Unreal, and Unity work. But what makes me go, “oh you’ve been mapping for a long time,” is when I see a BSP box room, rotated by 45 degrees (or even 30 degrees) with custom modeled joins at the corners — “holy crap, 30 degrees!”

SG: There was this one trick I learned from some guys who worked on Fort Frolic from BioShock 1 (the mall level, with the crazy theater guy): that when they built it, they originally had these long hallways with doors leading to shops, but Ken Levine was pushing for them to change these 90 degree corners into 45 degree bends so that it’s not obvious that it’s just box to box to box. They came up with a really economical solution, without re-building everything at an angle: they just took the front wall and front door and sliced it at 45 degrees, so that you enter at an angle even though all the rooms and shops are still at 90 degrees, on the grid. It feels at an angle, but it’s not. Stuff like that comes from development experience of doing stuff sustainably, instead of doing things the hard way to make your life hell.

 

gaynor60.jpg

 

 

 

I can't believe that I was reading that interview and had no idea about that trick! That's one of the problem solvers I've use, thanks guys!

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Glad LWM is useful to people.

I usually just build off the grid sometimes... it's really not that big of a deal. I think it's the proportions that ruin everything, real-life human spaces rarely come in cubic volumes. I ran into this in BMS with doing Anomalous Materials. At first I did everything in 128 / 64 unit increments, but it felt really wrong. Valve had the right idea with 160 unit tall walls, it really adds something.

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RY: I face-palmed when I saw the 0451 code. It was like the game was winking at me.

SG: Hey man, we’ve got to continue that shit! It’s earned! I did my time.

http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2013/10/16/level-with-me-steve-gaynor/#more-172756 )

 

 

ahah, amen! Man, that was a great article!

 

4dc360726aa2bf1925a389baaa8cc71a1996d63f

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Valve had the right idea with 160 unit tall walls, it really adds something.

What do you mean by this?

The teal walls in C1A0 were 160 units tall, and I think the hallways were 192 units wide, and those proportions vs. player eye height, to me, felt really "right", but I don't know if it's intentional or just the result of the wall textures being 160 units tall?

It's unclear why they had all these weird texture sizes for everything. Presumably to save texture memory, which they were really worried about? (That's why all the HL1 NPC models use like 15 different BMPs) I remember in mid HL1 mapping days there was a weird trick where you use 240x240 textures and then scale up by 1.067 to reduce geometry splits and wpoly, but then people started noticing how blurry the results were, and turns out the textures were getting downscaled to 128x128 to upload to the GPU... Though really, anything that isn't power of 2 or is > 256 just gets rescaled to the nearest power of 2 anyway, at least in non-software renderers...

and now I'm rambling sorry

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